Melancholic Personality Traits – Patient, Orderly and Attentive

Men and women with melancholic personality share many traits – they tend to be loyal to their family and friends and extremely careful. Respectability and moral issues are particularly important to them and they will often love to follow typical “norms” of society and family traditions.

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They are respectful to authority, follow rules and feel comfortable in hierarchies, where structure, rules and order are implemented. It is important for them to feel themselves a part of the larger community. They see their loyalty to it as a duty.


The Serotonin Association

Melancholic personality traits are associated with serotonin, which suppresses aggressive tendencies. This explains why melancholic people are calm and self-confident, deeply attached to their family and community and loyal. As it was mentioned, they are very orderly and don’t like unpredictability – they enjoy making definite plans and keeping schedules. They love routines, which they find relaxing and this should not come as a big surprise – any repetitive motion increases serotonin levels. It is relaxing in its nature, but nobody enjoys it more than a melancholic!

Attention to Detail

These people pay attention to details:

  • They remember special dates, anniversaries and events
  • They will remember details about their neighbors and colleagues.

Family and social ties are not seen by melancholics as something that limits their freedom and flexibility, as this could be with a sanguine or a choleric. In fact, to them these are safety nets, kind of a soft place to fall but in a much grander scale. It is also something that adds meaning to their life. Since society and family ties are such an important part of their daily lifestyles and routines, they absolutely can’t see themselves without it. Take this part away from them and they will be devastated. This is why the melancholic is not likely to be somebody who would marry a foreigner or leave to another country for permanent residence.

It’s All About The Order!

Melancholics need to be orderly even in their speech – they will express themselves precisely, accurately, providing all of the relevant information and if you interrupt them or ask them a question they will think you are not interested in what they are talking about.

Unlike the Sanguine personality, they hate distractions and get frustrated by them. If you want to impress them don’t talk about your big ideas, instead give them precise information and stick to details. Their need for order is expressed even in their jokes – they won’t be a fan of nonsense humor or unresolved humor, their jokes reflect order, predictability and closure.

Accuracy Counts!

People with a melancholic personality are not only orderly, they are also accurate. They are process-oriented and like to pursue their goals in a precise straightforward way. Before they start a specific task, they need to organize themselves and break down the task into the manageable steps. The average melancholic is not the kind of person that will work well under the pressure and to be comfortable in a given situation, they need to be in a clear-cut place where the details are known and proven.

Patience is a Virtue!

Melancholics are persistent and patient. They don’t get bored easily and excel at tasks that require attention and repetition. Interestingly, repetitive actions raise levels of serotonin even more and this is why some people repeat one and the same action over and over when they are anxious, like checking to see if the door is closed well or if they turned off the stove or re-checking their suitcase before going to the vacation. Sadly a misbalanced melancholic is most susceptible to OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), where a person engages meaningless rituals, like counting, washing hands or excessive cleaning in order to prevent some disaster he imagines. Some of them may suffer in a less obvious way, but probably the hardest – ruminating over and over about the same thought and rethinking it hundreds, if not thousands of times each and every day.

The Taste Test

Their orderliness is also reflected in their tastes. Melancholics love geometrical designs that are simple, orderly, predictable, repetitive and symmetrical. If you give a melancholic man one striped shirt and hundred shirts with asymmetrical design, he will be wearing that one striped shirt every day. Asymmetry simply makes them too uncomfortable.

Note however, that most people are actually a mix of several personality types that make them much more flexible. In geometrical shapes the particular favorites of melancholics are pyramids.

The Melancholic Manager

These people do excellent managers and administrators because they follow the rules, stick to the facts, they are reliable and maintain the social ties. They are superb at managing people whether it is at work or at home. One of their strongest needs is the need to belong and this is why they want to be reliable, respectable and charitable. Their emotional well-being depends on their social networks.


Melancholics are proud of their accomplishments – they will display their trophies, medals, diplomas, certificates and photos with influential people. Generally, they want to do the things in an accepted way; they prefer to plan things in advance and to know ahead of the time what they are going to do.

The Negatives

On the negative side, people with a melancholic personality may become close-minded, dogmatic and stubborn. They also tend to turn to pessimism which may turn into fatalism, believing that nothing will ever change for better. Sometimes they get overly critical, judgmental, expressing their own moral superiority.

Their frugality may turn into stinginess. As well as this, some melancholics can become fixated on the past, where they ruminate for hours how their life would be if they did or choose something else in the past. Also they may have difficulty with stopping what they are doing, so hoarding is often a very common problem.

Don’t miss: Melancholic Love »

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